The Consultancy Unit was conceptualized in mid-2014 as part of ACHAP’s strategic transition into ‘phase 3’. This phase marked a fundamental change in the organization’s fifteen year history which was synonymous with the provision of resources, largely financial, to government and local civil society groups. A fundamental aim of the Consultancy Unit is to extend the years of experience that ACHAP has amassed in supporting the HIV & AIDS response in Botswana into a broader development space within and beyond the borders of Botswana. This enables ACHAP to provide technical assistance across a host of social, development, health and education areas that go far beyond the HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis domains.
The Consultancy Unit leverages on the ACHAP in-house capacity from the broader team of health and development experts who provide oversight and technical guidance in their fields of expertise which enriches the work of the Consultancy Unit, usually working in close collaboration with the Department of Research, Evaluation and Monitoring (DREAM). ACHAP has a wealth of talent of over a 100 staff members with qualifications and background in Sociology, Psychology, Statistics, and Social Work to mention a few that enhance the Unit’s research capacity and ensures that it churns out high quality research results. The Unit additionally has a pool of experienced research experts to call upon as and when opportunities arise including University of Botswana Statistics Professors and Consultant Research Assistants specializing in Statistics and Epidemiology. Since its inception, the Consultancy Unit has already undertaken studies for a number of high profile clients including Aquity International (under the auspices of The World Bank), Ministry of Health and Wellness, The Vision Council and the Human Resource Development Council.
The Unit contributes to this new vision through, direct information sharing with existing partners like government and development partners; identifying development consulting opportunities and through implementation of the consultancies that are secured.The Unit has made national news headlines in the presentation of the Safe Male Circumcision Demand Creation Report. The Unit actively identifies consultancies opportunities through the Business Development Department under which it falls. Once identified, the Unit either develops Expression Of Interests (EOI) or full proposals against which it can deliver consultancies services. These activities also serve as information sharing, or marketing tools that inform potential clients of this new and additional service offered by ACHAP. The process of developing EOPs and full proposals results in the Consultancy Unit assembling highly technical teams, both from within ACHAP and outside, primarily from, but not limited to academia.
The Consultancy unit functions as an internal revenue generating source utilizing ACHAP’s rich internal intellectual capital as a mechanism to access resources. In so doing the unit provides the organisation the latitude to generate a stream of unrestricted fund which is detached from direct donor obligations.